Saturday, December 20, 2008

Life Story #22- The Rest of the Story

As some readers may recall, we left our newly married royal couple in a small cabin in the woods as the night was falling in the tropical forest with what seemed like a not so happy ending. Fortunately, with the resilience of the young they awoke to a much brighter day and after a breakfast of eggs and fried breadfruit and sliced papaya, they packed their chariot to begin the second day of the 'rest of their honeymoon.'

A wedding couple does not have to stay in a 4 star hotel for a beautiful honeymoon on the Big Island, because most of the real tropical beauty is away from the hotel's boring swimming pools and crowded beaches. (Besides if you are graduate students, you barely have two nickels much less $200 for a night in a hotel.)

Hawaii is called the 'orchid isle' and it lives up to this name with orchids growing wild everywhere, even along the roadside, causing the Princess on their second day to ask the Prince to stop the chariot every few minutes so that she could bury her face in their sweet smelling blossoms. A drive down the 'chain of craters' road where they eventually had to come to a complete stop because of the cold lava that merged like frozen molasses across the road, amazed them both.

Hours later, the newly-weds danced under the giant tree ferns, picked ginger blossoms for the dashboard of their chariot, visited historic Cook's Monument at Kealakakua Bay, let their fingers trace centuries-old petroglyphs in the volcanic stones nearby, explored dark lava tubes and soon forgot about the prior day's disaster.

But when they stopped for a family-style lunch at Volcano House, they were reminded of the prior day's debacle as they sat at a large, rustic, round table with the other tourists for a family style meal. The initial noise of the restaurant was that of normal conversations among happy tourists, but at their table the conversation among the fellow diners dwindled immediately into uncomfortable silence as people politely passed food and surreptitiously directed side glances toward the Prince with his oddly deformed lip. This deformity also meant his enunciation was muddled and the Princess had to speak for him when he needed food passed. Suddenly the Princess realized what it must be like to be a person with a deformity in a society where everyone else is "normal." This was an eyeopener and gave the Princess a new appreciation for the "commoner".

The Princess explained that they were on their honeymoon and had had an early mis-adventure with a honey-bee. The atmosphere at the table immediately thawed and idle conversation began once again with everyone wishing them a happy future.

The following days were somewhat of a blur visiting Pahoehoe Point, Kamuela, Kohala Road, and Saddle Road, until on the next to the last day the couple reached the end point of a paved road at Pololu Valley. This point is the start of goat trails to five deep and beautiful valleys on this side of the island. The royal couple had brought their rustic backpacks and proceeded to descend into the northern most valley, Pololu, by following a trail down a 420-foot cliff face that zigged and zagged sharply toward the bottom. (Reminder, this team was not very worldly).

When they reached the valley the cool ocean breeze across the crescent beach was very welcoming. They paused for the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunch (not exactly gourmet) and then climbed up the next very steep ridge and descended into the next valley. The climbing and descending were so totally exhausting that after crossing a number of streams, the small shelter of Australian pine trees at the base of the valley near the ocean was immediately chosen as the evenings camp spot. The royal team set up a primitive campsite which consisted of two sleeping bags, a plastic drop cloth and some cooking utensils---such luxury.

During the day as they had crossed each river in both valleys, the Princess noticed that the streams were filled with dead or dying, floating, dangerously red centipedes and the evening music that accompanied that night's dinner was the sound of a nearby violently crashing surf against the rocks blending with the sounds of squealing wild pigs up in the valley. The Princess had visions of either drowning in the encroaching surf waters, being attacked by a wild boar, or being bitten by one of the four-inch long centipedes that had washed down the valley and that could seek shelter in her sleeping bag.

The plastic drop cloth that was to be used as protection from the impending rain, became a sail that captured the choking campfire smoke when the wind changed direction from blowing onshore to blowing offshore---as any naturalist would have known. Not much honeymoon lovemaking or much sleep for that matter took place! (Looking back on this beginning it is a wonder that we ever had any children.)

The Royal Couple survived this final night of celebration of their marriage and looking like mud-covered warriors and being given second and third glances by the mainland tourists in the parking area, they returned to their chariot to begin the life of a more normal couple. But that is several other life stories and adventures for a later book.


  1. Wow! That is some adventure. Dead centipedes would give me nightmares, too. Not your run-of-the-mill honeymoon story at all. You got spirit. But, what memories.

  2. Tabor, love it. You make me smile this early morning. What a honeymoon!!!
    Have a great day.

  3. Any experience in that paradise is better than none!! - even centipedes!

    A good story, Tabor!!

  4. Ahhh to be young, in love and resilent. Can you picture this happening to you two now? Taxi! lol

    Loved this!

  5. Anonymous6:14 PM

    What a wonderful story!! And so well told!!! I agree with what Tammy said,
    "Can you picture this happening now." Oh, to be young - everything is a big adventure!!


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